Dental Health Services Research Unit

Dental Health Services Research Unit (DHSRU) was founded in 1979 at the University of Dundee following an open competition among Scottish Universities. The Chief Scientist Office of the day recognised the need for research to map Scotland's poor record of dental health more clearly and to provide an evidence base for the measures employed by the NHS in Scotland to prevent and manage oral disease.

DHSRU quickly established itself in the early 1980s with a series of classic papers reporting analyses from longitudinal studies of routine NHS dental care and pioneering work in dental treatment decision making. In January 2013, Professor Jan Clarkson and Professor Ruth Freeman were appointed as Co-Directors of DHSRU and under their direction DHSRU continues to flourish and expand. Professor Clarkson leads the Effective Dental Practice Programme and Professor Freeman leads the Oral Health and Health Research Programme. The Unit was further strengthened in October 2013 by the appointment of Mr Derek Richards, Director of the Centre for Evidence Based Dentistry, as Honorary Senior Lecturer, and the Centre's relocation to DHSRU.

DHSRU is a recognised research centre across a range of dental health services research both nationally and internationally. The Unit has evolved to meet the changing needs of the NHS in Scotland and has made long term contributions in the areas of dental epidemiology and public health, cariology, practice-based dental research and evidence based dentistry. The Unit's remit is:               

“To contribute to improving oral health and effective dental healthcare in Scotland and beyond by undertaking and facilitating collaborative health-related research and development which is delivered and implemented to international quality standards”

DHSRU remains unique in dentistry, in the UK and internationally, by maintaining a long term portfolio of projects focusing on matters of importance to health services and providers of routine dental care. The rich history and 'corporate memory' of its staff, combined with a mature network of local, national and international collaborators, enables DHSRU to exploit synergies and deliver a range of dental research in key priority areas to high methodological standards.

Geographical Key

Within each of the Programmes the research activities are referenced with a symbol indicating the geographical breadth of the research enterprise. The following key applies: